If a foreign national marries a U.S. citizen, the foreign national becomes an immediate relative of the U.S. spouse and may be able to apply for U.S. permanent residency as a result of the marital relationship.
US citizens and permanent residents can sponsor foreign national spouses through a petition for a Green Card by marriage. US citizens can sponsor spouses as “immediate relatives.” For immediate relatives, visa numbers are available immediately, which means that there is no need to wait for a visa number to become available. As soon as the U.S citizen’s petition is approved, a visa number is made available and the foreign spouse can apply for a US Green Card.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has proposed a new rule, suggesting a series of changes to be implemented during the processing of Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. Based on the 2017 Data Set for Form I-485, released by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), there was a total of 164,012 new applications received during the reporting period. As of the end of the reporting period, only 152,008 were approved, 15,364 were denied, terminated, or withdrawn, and 682,619 were still awaiting a decision.